A joint statement by the United Kingdom and Australia to the United Nations Human Rights Council has accused the UN of downplaying “the scourge of antisemitism.”

The statement was delivered by Simon Manley, the UK’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, on behalf of both the UK and Australia.

“With regard to resolution before us this morning […] we still have a number of concerns with the text,” the statement read. “We do not agree with the multiple references to the Durban Conference, given the historic concerns over antisemitism.”

“Madam President, fellow members of the Council, the UK and Australia did not attend the recent 20th anniversary commemorative event for the Third World Conference Against Racism. There were reportedly nearly 40 states who, like us, made the decision not take part. We think we all need to ask ourselves, why so many states stayed away and how we can move forward.”

“If we are to be able to forge a consensus in the future then it is clear that we must come together to find a new approach. The importance of this topic requires that we move forward together on a common path.”

“Madam President, racism should be tackled in all its forms and, regrettably, for far too long, the UN has downplayed the scourge of antisemitism. This must end. The UK is clear that we will not attend future iterations of the Durban Conference while concerns over antisemitism remain.”